Tuesday, November 25, 2014

There and Back Again.

Well, I'm a little late with the update, but a few weeks ago we made the voyage back down to San Francisco for a follow up visit for Milo. 

He was such a good baby on the way down. It's hard for such a tiny person to travel so far. 

Taking a break to play with daddy at the gas station. 

It's funny how normal seeing the red arches of the Golden Gate Bridge is for me now. I've driven under them more in the past year than I probably have in my entire life. 

Having dinner at Buon Gusto in South SF. 

Chillin' with Daddy at the hotel. 

Larkspur Landing in South San Francisco is turning into our home away from home. We actually tried a different hotel in a different part of town, but it didn't work out for us. So after a quick trip onto Booking.com and a 20 minute cruise across town we found ourselves checking in at our usual digs for the night. 

We don't usually go out and do things while we are in town since we don't want to over tire Milo (or ourselves!) and our appointments usually start at 8:30 in the morning; but this time we managed to go out for dinner, which was fun. 
I'm looking forward to the next time we go in February because we will be at the new children's hospital in Mission Bay. That's a hop skip and a jump up the 101 from our hotel instead of a 20-30 minute trek across town in rush hour traffic. *sigh* It's the little things. 

Anyway, we started our day here at the Children's Renal Center. Right away we could tell that the theme of the day was "go with the flow". Turns out that by the end of the day we didn't make a single one of our appointments on time for various reasons. The cool thing is that all of the staff people were very accommodating and the order of our appointments worked out better than we had planned it, for us and for Milo. Thank you God!

The doctor wasn't in yet for the Renal center, so we decided to take Milo to get his blood drawn at the lab. It amazes me how easy it was for the staff person to get a draw from him... We tried and failed at 2 different hospitals here at home. Mr. Chunks' arms were to chubby to find a vein!

After getting his kidney panel done at the lab, we headed over for our routine ultrasound. Milo will continue to get these every time we come. The blood work is mostly for the kidney doctor, and the  ultrasound mainly serves the urologist (though they both use all the info.)

We were an hour behind schedule by the time we got to our Urology appointment. Everyone is starting to wear out a little. Note the same ragged look on both Milo and Aaron's faces. ;^)

Our visit with Dr. Copp went well. She said that his insides look about the same as before and we talked about switching his antibiotics to something more localized. 
What basically happens at these appointments is she looks over the ultrasound images, gives us an update and things to think about for the future, then answers any questions that we might have. I really like her as a doctor. She can answer any question that we ask, and though she has strong opinions and preferences about treatment (like any specialist) she will listen to our perspective as parents and find a solution to accommodate what we feel is best for our son. 

After our visit with Urology, we circled back down to Children's Renal to try and meet up with our kidney doctor, Dr. Brakeman. I didn't get his picture, but he is also an excellent doctor. I feel so fortunate that Milo is in the care of such capable people. 

During our appointment Dr. Brakeman told us that Milo now has the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, since his condition has been present for more than 3 months and hasn't resolved itself. He also told us that his right kidney is only 80% as large as the left one, and that his over all kidney function is at about 50%, which is a 5% improvement from the last time we came. He wants to keep evaluating him every 3 months with blood work, and he hopes to see his percentage of improvement correspond with the way the rest of his body is growing. He says that we will know more about long term prognosis and plans for treatment after Milo is a year old. 

After all of these appointments are finally finished it is almost 1:00 and we are ready to head home. Milo is so tired that he stays asleep until Willits. I'm tired too and am very happy that Aaron doesn't mind driving. While a weekend away is not a big deal any more, I still feel relieved every time we reach the redwood curtain. As we are enveloped by those timeless trees and drive the winding highway home, I feel grateful for our simple life far away from the city. There's no place like home, and after a day or so, the rest feels like a dream. 

See ya next time San Francisco.